I don’t know why I am writing this. I felt that I had to. It seems that everyone else in Australia has written something on the floods. There is round the clock coverage with updates and information. The footage of the devastation is being beamed through to televisions in high definition. There is no refuge from the situation. Even tuning into a commercial radio station during a nightly count of the top 40 songs in the country has people calling in for information or providing updates. It is all encompassing.
In Western Australia, there was flooding in the town of Carnarvon just before Christmas. Farmers have not only lost crops but some have also lost precious topsoil. In the short term this may mean a rise in food prices but the long term consequences are far more worrisome. There is assistance from the Department of Agriculture and Food available. Just before Christmas The West Australian and local news coverage were filled with images of roads washed away, floodwaters reaching the roofs of houses and lost crops. An appeal was set up.
I am going to be honest with you. I have since lost track of the timeline of flooding across Australia, (yes, the entire country, not just Queensland). The entire situation is overwhelming and even as I type, 75% of Queensland, the second largest state of the country, is underwater. The death toll from Queensland stands officially at 15 and all Australians are warned that there will be much more devastating news to come. And if you look at the Bureau of Meteorology’s warning page now, there is not one state or territory in Australia that doesn’t have a flood warning or flood watch in place.
There are scientists specialised in microbiology, disease, hydrology, meteorology and many other areas working around the clock. The people at Google, (yes, Google that big search engine that churns out maps and with doodles reminding us of the year’s progress), have put together a real time map of events for people in Queensland.
If you want to help there are appeals in place for flood victims.
If someone approaches you about donating to a charity, make sure you ask that person for identification because unfortunately there scumbags out there who will seek to profit out of these disasters. More details at ScamWatch. And if you are donating, donate something worthy and of use to other people. Andrew Heslop explains how cash donations are more effective in a crisis situation than goods.
I apologise for my haphazard post but this is how my thoughts are roughly collected on the flooding. I do not have the time to sort them out and present them elegantly. I am also grateful that I do not need to. I felt I had to recognise the disaster in some way and to let everyone know that I am not ignoring this by not posting anything, because no one in Australia can avoid it. Everyone is talking about it.